Backspin Fathers Sons and Dead Heads
- By Golf Channel Digital
- Dec 3, 2007 12:00 PM ET
LIKE A FINE WINE...: Sir Bob Charles, 71, shot a four-day total of 4 under in his native country's New Zealand Open to finish in a tie for 23rd. That in spite of a opening-round 75 and a double bogey on the 72nd hole.
This is easily one of the best feel good golf stories of the year: an aging, former major champion - at age 71 - contending in a world-class event, in front of his home country fans no less. Three of the four days Charles shot his age or better. Asked if he would return next year, the Kiwi quipped, 'Well, next year I'll be even par 72.' Somewhere, you can imagine, Mr. Nicklaus is dusting off his clubs.
FINISHING SCHOOL: Jane Park grabbed the lead in the first round of the LPGA's Q-School and never looked back. The American-born Park led wire-to-wire to secure her tour card for the 2008 LPGA Tour season.
Sixteen others also collected their cards for the upcoming season, including Kelli Kuehne, who rebounded from a card-threatening 76 on Saturday with a tough-as-nails 67 on the final day to finish fourth. Perhaps it will be the confidence boost the Texan needs after missing 11 of 19 cuts this past season on tour. Perhaps.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Larry Nelson teamed with his 29-year-old son Josh to take the title at the annual Del Webb Father-Son Challenge at ChampionsGate Resort in Orlando. The pair shot a closing 12-under 60 to nip the team of Bob and Kevin Tway by two strokes.
The media stills loves to call these types of events the 'Silly Season,' but how about we start calling them the 'Something Different from the Steady Diet of Stroke Play Events We Have to Watch Throughout the Year?' If you truly enjoy watching golf - and we know you do - these events make for quite an interesting show. Sound 'silly?' Maybe, but it's better than watching no golf for two months.
GLOOMY FINISH IN SUN CITY: Trevor Immelman survived a minor meltdown to finish at 16 under and win the lucrative Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa. His one-shot win over Justin Rose was good enough for a cool $1.2 million.
Immelman didn't so much win the tournament as he did stumble face first into the winner's circle, carding three straight bogeys of his final three holes. Not to be outdone, Rose double bogeyed the 72nd hole to miss the playoff by a stroke. Rose has shown his skill this year, winning the Order of Merit on the European Tour. He's also shown that he has great difficulty in clearing the final hurdles near the finish line.
MONTY-FALDO TANGO: Colin Montgomerie and Nick Faldo continued to make news as their supposed war of words never seems to run out of steam. Monty this week let it be known that the two have not been on speaking terms for the past several months.
As smart as these two old veterans are, don't be surprised to see them striding together arm in arm into the Ryder Cup opening ceremonies next year in Louisville. Both legendary players in Europe and around the world, will just sit back and enjoy the show until play begins at Valhalla. Throw Azinger into the mix and this could make for one of the spiciest pre-Ryder Cups ever.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: American Bryan Saltus came from behind to win the inaugural Cambodian Open; A Scottish council rejected a plan by Donald Trump to build a golf course on a stretch of coastline that is home to some of the country's rarest birds.
Saltus, a self-described Dead Head, went as far as to dedicate the the victory to the legendary band, saying, 'They have inspired me all the way.' As impressive it was to notch his first victory, it doesn't begin to touch his feat of 153 career Dead shows. Jerry would have been proud; Trump, more bed head than Dead Head, probably wasn't happy to experience the feeling of sitting on the wrong side of a boardroom for a change.
Contributions from writers and editors on the Golf Channel Digital team.
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